Leaders break ground on Market St. drainage project - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Leaders break ground on Market St. drainage project

Market Street floods during a torrential downpour in late August. Market Street floods during a torrential downpour in late August.
In the next few weeks, work at a construction site on Concord Street will be the beginning of the end for downtown flooding problems.
"Every time it rains cats and dogs Market Street is flooded it's really a mess," says Mayor Joe Riley.

In his four decades as Mayor, Riley says he's pretty sure he's seen it all when it comes to flooding.

Even two months ago when kayakers couldn't pass up paddling through the market, Riley wasn't surprised.

But after seeing just how wet Market street can get over the years the Mayor couldn't wait to break ground on the Market Street drainage project Friday.

"When it rains heavily in the future when this is finished you can come down to the Market and your socks will not get wet," says Riley. 

The plan is to cut a well 80 feet beneath the ground at Concord Street that will connect to a larger tunnel that will run under Market Street. The tunnel system will free the area from consistently flooding by pumping out rain water at 160,000 gallons a minute into the river nearby.

"A majority of the construction will take place underground with very little inconvenience to the traveling public," says project engineer Michael Horton.
Horton says the only part of the project people will see is the digging of small three drain wells on Market, called drop shafts, which are planned to be installed during the winter months.

"The drop shafts will be located at Church Street, Anson Street and State Street in the Market corridor and eventually those will be the connection points for taking and alleviating all of the flooding problems that you see," says Horton.

Riley says if the project hits all of it's deadlines on time it will be completed in early 2014.

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